Children, pregnant women eligible for increased services |

Children, pregnant women eligible for increased services

Michelle Balleck

Pregnant women who need care no longer will have to wait for it.

The state Legislature recently reinstated presumptive eligibility with Medicaid, meaning that when women turn in their applications for the program, they can begin receiving prenatal services right away.

“The same day they come in, they can receive care,” said Carrie Godes, director of community care with the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

The program went back into effect Friday, and it requires pregnancy verification and the recipient to be at 133 percent or lower of the federal poverty level.

“It’s another avenue for lower-income families to get quality medical care,” Godes said.

Women can get full coverage on prescriptions and regular checkups with their physicians while their application is being processed, which takes 45 days, on average.

Local youths also have access to increased services through the Children’s Health Plan (CHP +), which offers medical, dental, vision and mental health coverage for a low co-pay.

The only requirement is an income at 200 percent of the poverty level, which recently increased from 185 percent.

“We’re really excited because it becomes more inclusive,” Godes said. “Now it’s just that many more people will have access to it.”

The CHP + application is strictly income-based, and it does not ask about assets, such as cars and homes. She encourages people who think they might qualify to come into the VNA to apply.

Many people think they make more money than the required salary level, but Godes thinks some people would be surprised. Plus, the staff at the VNA know the ins and outs of the process and can help applicants with the paperwork.

“There’s a whole series of deductions we can look at that may make them qualify,” she said.

For more information, call the VNA at 824-8233.

Michelle Perry may be reached at 824-7031 or

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